The Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion remains unbeaten by the competition for the last few years. The fabric is cozy and comfortable, the cut is protective and versatile, and the temperature regulation is off the charts. It's a solid gear choice for multi-day backpacking trips, day hikes, skiing, and more. We have taken it over summits, on very long trails, and on day hikes. Worn best with a pair of taller hiking boots, it provides great protection from tall and wet grasses, while offering the warmth you might need on a cold winter night. Even though it's called a "full cushion" sock, it's surprisingly lightweight and thin. It's the best sock out there, boasting longevity that'll last you for hundreds of miles on the trail. Better yet, Darn Tough has built a sock for both men and women specifically!Also check out: Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion - Women's
Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fitted
Cons: Not ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for all
Manufacturer: Darn Tough
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Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion
|Price||$25.95 at Backcountry|
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|$20.40 at Amazon|
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|$20.95 at Backcountry|
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|$22.50 at Amazon||$16.00 at Amazon|
|Pros||Durable, comfortable, wide temperature regulation, versatile, fitted||Great thermoregulation, incredibly comfortable, durability||Highly breathable, comfortable, well-fitted, no itch, excellent wicking power, quick to dry||Comfortable, breathable, quick-to-dry, calf-height design, compatible with hiking boots & shoes||Incredible durability, quick to dry, accommodates a liner, comfortable|
|Cons||Not ideal for hot temperatures, tall cut not best for all||Slow to dry, expensive||Slippery fabrics, shorter length||Expensive, not suited for hot weather||Loose fit, lacks compression paneling, loses wicking capabilities in cold weather|
|Bottom Line||Our favorite hiking sock for all-seasons||A versatile sock built for both the day and thru-hiker||A lightweight hiking sock that simply offers the best performance of its class||A perfect blend of comfort and performance||A value-driven, midweight synthetic hiking sock with great drying speed and durability|
|Rating Categories||Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion||Smartwool PhD Pro Light Crew||Light Hiker Micro Crew||Damascus Medium Weight Techn...||Wigwam Hiking Outdoor Pro|
|Wicking And Breathability (25%)|
|Drying Speed (10%)|
|Specs||Darn Tough Hiker...||Smartwool PhD Pro...||Light Hiker Micro...||Damascus Medium...||Wigwam Hiking...|
|Material||66% merino wool, 32% nylon, 2% lycra spandex||62% Merino Wool, 36% Nylon, 2% Elastane||54% Nylon 43% Merino Wool 3% Lycra® Spandex||51% Merino Wool, 46% Nylon,
3% LYCRA Spandex
|41% polypropylene, 34% acrylic, 23% stretch nylon, 1% stretch polyester, 1% spandex|
|Length||High calf||Lower calf||Lower calf||Lower calf||Lower calf|
|Guarantee Policy||Lifetime guarantee||2 year satisfaction guarantee||Lifetime guarentee||Lifetime guarantee||2 year guarantee|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Darn Tough Full Cushion is our favorite hiking sock. This full-length Merino-blend hiking sock is best for adventuring during the Fall, Spring, and Winter months in cold to warm temperatures. Its performance extends to all types of weather conditions including cold and wet to sunny and dry. Be sure to check out the different sizing options for both men and women.
This sock is comfortable and meant for all-day wear. It is constructed of 66% Merino wool, 32% nylon, and 2% lycra spandex, to provides excellent cushioning underfoot with a streamlined fit.
Putting it on is like slipping your foot into a soft, breathable blanket. The Merino wool blend is soft to the touch, while the spandex and lycra keep the sock from slipping down while adventuring. The compression paneling concentrated around the arch of the foot and the ankle provides additional support without allowing it to bunch on the trail. We loved the length of the sock that easily accommodates a hiking boot. As a result, its a perfect sock for everything from day hikes to long thru-trails. Overall, the Full Cushion sock is super cozy, though it's not the most comfortable contender out there.
Wicking and Breathability
Featuring a fine gauge Merino wool blend, this sock wicks and breathes. Our testers took it running, backpacking, and hiking, where it excelled in warm to cool weather conditions. The fitted design wicks moisture away from the skin and pushes it to the outside of the fabric, keeping skin dry. We also notice that water beads on the fabric (not immediately absorbing) which provides excellent wicking capabilities. This makes it an ideal three-season sock option, best for fall, spring, and winter.
Even though it is thick, it is one of the most breathable of all thick socks. It is ideal for running on cold winter mornings, keeping feet dry even with high-intensity activity. That said, there is a limit to what it can do. Given its high boot height, it's not recommended for wear on super hot days.
Boasting the best insulation, the Darn Tough Full Cushion is quite warm and does well in most weather conditions. The blend of materials does a great job at insulating feet when wet and dry. We appreciate a tall sock that provides additional warmth on cold days. In our testing, we observed that this contender kept our feet warm in temperatures in the low 20s (degrees Fahrenheit) while hiking and standing around.
When splitboarding in Alaska, we could wear this sock all day. We would hike and ski, make dinner, then go to bed. Even though it's recommended to change your socks in these cold temperatures, we didn't need to. The material insulates well and kept our feet warm all night, even when the temps dipped below freezing.
Like the name infers, this sock is true to being "Darn Tough". It, like all other socks from Darn Tough, has scored high in this category. The high-density merino wool construction provides durability for years to come. In our testing, we put it through the wringer. We wore it while trekking through varying microclimates of the high Peruvian Andes for a month. We took it splitboarding in the Central Alaska mountain range for a week. We also went backpacking through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Over the last years we've logged upwards of 200 miles that include hard hiking, running, and snowboarding, and in the end, we only noticed some pilling around the heel and midfoot. For a hiking sock, this is truly impressive. What's more, is the Darn Tough Full Cushion comes with a lifetime warranty - like all Darn Tough products. This means that if you get a hole in the material, you can send it back for a brand new pair. That said, if it's served you well and you like Darn Tough, do them a solid and just buy another pair to support a company that makes exceptional products.
We are pretty impressed with how well this sock did in our updated drying test. First, of all the socks tested, it absorbed only 114% of its weight in water, which is the least of any other sock. When putting it in the dryer on low heat, it only took 70 minutes to dry, which is similar to the time it took lightweight contenders to dry out. In the field, we noticed that the fabric does a pretty good job of drying out through the length of the sock, though the foot of the sock can get swampy if not properly ventilated with the right footwear. Aside from that, we'd say that it offers a great rate of drying! Thus, we would recommend it for wet climates and weather.
Don't let the high price of this sock scare you. For the price, you get a lifetime guarantee paired with fantastic durability. In our eyes, while the price is high, the value is there and worth each additional penny spent.
The Darn Tough Hiker Full Cushion sock is our favorite sock overall. It features a tall boot cut, with great durability and amazing performance through a wide range of conditions. Use it on your next thru-hike or exploration of your local landscape. It comes in both men and women's specific sizes.
— Amber King